Monday, July 18, 2011

Help! My mute button is wearing out!

Well folks, it is Monday again already...and far too nice a day to mess up with talk of debt ceilings and political maneuvering. These things will all be with us tomorrow and for the next few days...

So if you are hot and bothered from the heat wave, this may be the place to be today as I try not to heat up the air with truthful statements about our mediocrity laced presidency, but instead look at something that to date has had little, if any, air time.

Let me ask you all a question....

Where do you get your news, more specifically your political news?

If you are reading my blog, and enjoying it (as opposed to reading it so you can get angry at stupid conservatives like me, which is a trademark of some liberals I know who just love to spend their days angry), there is a good chance that you do not get your political news from main stream media outlets such as CNN, ABC, NBC, MSNBC and other alphabet outlets. The newspaper outlets are generally so heavily liberal biased that they no longer need opinion pieces, the "news" segments carry more opinions than they could possibly need.

Of course, the preponderance of blogs such as mine make good reading, but can hardly be called a news source, as they are all strongly tinged with opinion. I make no apology for the fact that my daily dose is just that....opinion....and definitely could not be categorized as news.

So, perhaps the last bastion of conservative flavored news is the Fox empire...both the cable version and the online print version. Many liberals like to call it faux news, accusing it of cherry picking the stories and then spinning them to meet the conservative agenda.

At the same time, many conservatives are finding that the cable news leader is becoming soft, with a nod to the liberals in being fair and balanced, and the inclusion of far more liberal talking heads than was the case even a few years ago.

Can both sides be right?

When I watch Fox cable news I keep the remote control handy.

 It has a mute button.

 I use it.

 I am convinced that the designer of the mute button was an avid conservative who preferred watching Fox cable news shows but became increasingly irritated by the increasingly long line of liberals being paraded through the opinion shows in an effort to be politically fair and balanced. From the bombastic Alan Colmes to the unintelligible Juan Williams, from the pompous Bob Beckel to the irrelevant Joe Trippi, Fox is seeking liberal opinions to counterbalance its conservative stance.

And that is why I love my mute button. The purest form of censorship is in your hands, just one little it and you can eradicate their poison from your mind. (Of course, liberals also have mute buttons they can use on conservative talking heads, but that is not good enough for them....they want people banned from the airwaves if they hold a different opinion....I presume that is just in case someone does not know how to use a mute button or change the channel!!)

It is clear that Roger Ailes is the force behind Fox programming and editorial content. It is clear that he has forged the strongly conservative Fox cable channel for the purpose of countering the liberally biased main stream media.

Does this mean that Roger Ailes is a staunch conservative, or simply a good businessman? I wish I could answer that...but I simply do not know. It is possible that he has created the conservative leaning cable news channel simply because it was good business and could generate a huge following from people who otherwise would only get a liberal viewpoint, capitalizing on the 50% of the population that holds conservative views and have no other news outfit targeting them....simply good business regardless of the views held.

Or it could be that he does hold strong conservative views and is using Fox as a way of expressing those view in the hope that he can educate and perhaps, over time, convert liberals to the higher truth. The fact that this is also good business guarantees his role as head of Fox.

Either of these scenarios could be true....but where is the real power? Does it really matter where Roger stands on the political spectrum? And what does it matter to you?

The bad news is that is does matter to you. The bad news is that Fox is going through a transition. The bad news is that Rupert Murdoch is in deep doo-doo right now....and the story is still unfolding. The bad news is that Fox may never again be anything like the conservative news source you have relied upon, but may simply become a washed out, homogenized and pasteurized, low fat, low-carb version of CNN.

Do you think I jest?

A quick look into the Murdoch family holds some keys here.

Rupert Murdoch's eldest son left News Corporation in 2004 due to his inability to reconcile himself politically with the direction that Roger Ailes was taking Fox.  Murdoch's  daughter, Elizabeth, and her brother James, were also very outspoken about the way they believed Fox was treating Obama in the presidential election. They were clearly sympathetic to democrat causes.

The succession at News Corp is going to be one of these three children. James is the most likely candidate as he has been running the European arms of Newscorp for some time now and knows the business inside and out.

This becomes far more interesting when we look at the current problems that Murdoch is facing. His tabloid News of the World was forced to close because of the voicemail hacking scandal breaking in England. The Editor in Chief of the News of the World at the time of the hacking incidents has now been charged with criminal offences and has stepped down from her high executive position within Newscorp. James Murdoch is being drilled and will now testify before the courts in the cases.

As if this wasn't enough, the FBI is claiming an investigation into voicemail hacking in the US post 9/11.

None if this is good news for Newscorp chairman, Rupert Murdoch.

At 80 years of age, there is no knowing how long Murdoch can hold the reigns at Newscorp.

It is estimated that this hacking scandal has effected his personal wealth by over $1 billion, and the stress on his health must be significant. It is clear to me, and therefor must be clear to people much smarter than I, that this is the right time for a leadership coup with most coups, it would be bloody and unpleasant, and Murdoch is nothing if not a fighter. But sooner or later he will lose...age and history is not on his side.

When the reigns are handed to James, I suspect that Roger Ailes will not have long before he too will go.

And that, dear friends, will be the end of Fox and the beginning of CNN Diet.

The rapid departure of Glen Beck from the Fox line-up should not be ignored. Personally I found him quite grating and his histrionics actually got in the way of hearing his message. I do not respond well to that sort of drama, but many people loved him and he was supported by millions of viewers, winning his time slot easily. So why would Fox not do everything possible to renew his contract? Why would they simply say "bye-bye"?

I am not aware of the negotiations or the reasons that Beck and Fox parted ways....but I do know what is replacing him. Some stupid panel made up of conservatives and liberals, with a rotation to keep things interesting. Now why would Fox do that? Replace Beck with a "fair and balanced" panel?

To my way of thinking this is the start of the movement toward CNN light...and I suspect that over the next short while, we will see more and more liberal talking heads getting airtime on Fox.

It will soon be time for us to find our news from other sources...but I do not know where those sources will come from. This is why I implore you to spread the word, spread your thoughts and opinions, start your own blogs, tell people about mine, tell your friends every time you read something interesting that smacks of truth.

I fear that when the torch is passed from Rupert to James, the last vestige of conservative thought will disappear from cable. I suspect it will still look the same, but will sound totally different.

I fear my mute button will wear out from excessive use.

Stupid is as stupid says.


I suspect that most of my readers also read Fox news, watch Fox


  1. I get my news from and know more news than almost anyone I talk too. I do watch some fox news not much and when I do I have seen the change also, especially O'Reilly. Thanks for looking out for us. footman

  2. O'Reilly is interesting to me. He has moments of great insight, interspersed with moments of stupidity.

    What I don't like is his insistence that he would not say Obama is a socialist but then states that the administration policies are socialist in nature.

    I suspect he will not call a spade a spade, even though he knows that it is, because he wants that next prime time interview with the Clown-in-Chief.

    To get an interview with the Deceiver (as part of Fox news) is a great coup - although I for one would not listen or watch it, much preferring a game of kiddie softball where the pitches are much faster and harder!